This Coconut Cake is delicious for any occasion!
4 cups cake flour or all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter (room temperature)
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 lemon (zested)
4 large eggs (room temperature)
2 1/2 cups buttermilk (well shaken)
4 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup coconut water
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups sweetened shredded coconut
For the Cake:
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line the bottoms of 2 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the vanilla, lemon zest, and eggs one at a time and mix to combine. Slowly add the buttermilk and then the flour mixture in 3 additions. Turn the speed to high and mix to aerate the batter, about 30 seconds.
Place in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, turning and rotating the pans halfway through baking. Remove from oven and cool completely.
For the Coconut Icing: Prepare a double boiler with water and turn the heat on to a simmer.
In a medium bowl, add the egg whites, sugar, coconut water, cream of tartar, and salt, and mix to combine. Place the bowl over the simmering water and immediately begin whisking. Whisk until the egg whites start to become frothy and the sugar has dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
Pour the egg white mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the coconut and vanilla extract and whip on medium-high speed for 3 more minutes until light and fluffy.
To Assemble: Slice each cake round in half horizontally. Stack the first layer of cake onto a cake stand. Spread about 3/4 cup of frosting to the edge of the cake and sprinkle with 1/4 cup of coconut, top with another layer of cake, followed by 3/4 cup of frosting spread to the edge and 1/4 cup of shredded coconut. Repeat three more times ending with the frosting.
Coat the sides of the cake with the remaining shredded coconut. Slice and serve.
Tip: For a store-bought solution, use your favorite cake mix and add lemon zest to the batter.